Print Story A problem with cryonics
Religion & Philosophy
By Alan Crowe (Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 05:33:03 AM EST) cryonics, anatman (all tags)

Over on Overcoming Bias RH and EY are advocating cryonics. Get frozen promptly, when your doctors give up and declare death. Perhaps one day medical science will be so amazingly advanced as to reverse the effect freezing and cure the end stage of your last illness, proving that todays saw-bones called "death" too soon.

Overcoming Bias subscribes to reductionist materialism. If undoing the damage of freezing is too hard the brain could nevertheless be dissected in sufficient detail to recover the data and initialise a whole brain emulation on computer hardware. You would wake up in the future's version of second life, and need to be equipped with a prosthetic, robot body before you could resume normal life.

Overcoming Bias also subscribes to evolutionary psychology, the sophisticated version. Most of the data is lost in pre-history, but evolutionary psychology nevertheless provides the philosophical framework for designing modern experiments and interpreting the results.

Strangely though, raise the subject of cryonics and all this is abandoned. The subject is debated without any suspicion that the concept of the self has limits.


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